W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2011

RE: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

From: Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 02:05:42 +0000
To: Scott Hollier <Scott.Hollier@mediaaccess.org.au>, 'WCAG' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E9A92BD0A4FC934EB7935470A46D152403F264@DB3EX14MBXC307.europe.corp.microsoft.com>
In HTML5 one can create extended audio description fairly easily with a text track and some javascript. Same is true of Silverlight, and I suspect Flash.

From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Scott Hollier
Sent: 22 June 2011 02:16
To: 'WCAG'
Subject: RE: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

Hi everyone,

This is an issue that we also face a lot in our work when providing information on WCAG compliance.  Would it be possible to look more broadly at the issue and have an exemption for AD for media where there is no physical room in the dialogue for AD, and then use talking head-situations as an example?

Often government departments here put some text on the website itself to explain the context of these type of videos, but I appreciate that this doesn't go with the media as previously mentioned.

Thank you,


Dr Scott Hollier
Project Manager & Western Australia Manager
Media Access Australia - Inclusion Through Technology
WA: 61 Kitchener Avenue, Victoria Park WA 6100
Main: Suite 4.08, 22-36 Mountain Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
Tel: +61 8 9311 8230 (WA) +61 2 9212 6242 (Main)

Our new campaign, cap that! - captioned for learning<http://www.capthat.com.au/> is asking teachers Australia-wide to turn on captions for learning and literacy.

Follow Media Access Australia (@mediaaccessaus) on Twitter<http://twitter.com/mediaaccessaus> and like us on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/mediaaccessaustralia>.

From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Andrew Kirkpatrick
Sent: Wednesday, 22 June 2011 3:11 AM
To: David MacDonald; 'Nicholas Reville'
Cc: 'Gregg Vanderheiden'; 'WCAG'; 'aleli alcala'; 'Dean Jansen'; 'Loretta Guarino Reid'
Subject: RE: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

This is what SMIL does - allows the author to define an audio file and dictate when it is played.

In Flash we support AD in essentially the same way - there is a cuepoint that is hit and triggers the playback of the media file with the description.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems


From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of David MacDonald
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 2:13 PM
To: 'Nicholas Reville'
Cc: 'Gregg Vanderheiden'; 'WCAG'; 'aleli alcala'; 'Dean Jansen'; 'Loretta Guarino Reid'
Subject: RE: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

That sounds interesting...

I hadn't thought of a browser, I thought about a production environment... but a browser would be great because then you could do crowd sourcing... people who didn't make the video could add Audio Description the video...

(of course, that could be a prime form of "spam" too..)

Perhaps it would have to be an account driven thing...

David MacDonald

From: Nicholas Reville [mailto:reville@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Nicholas Reville
Sent: June-21-11 1:54 PM
To: David MacDonald
Cc: 'Gregg Vanderheiden'; 'WCAG'; 'aleli alcala'; 'Dean Jansen'; 'Loretta Guarino Reid'
Subject: Re: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

Hi David,

We definitely want to make this as easy as possible.  What we are envisioning is a system that wouldn't require re-export of the video, we would record audio in the browser or have a user upload mp3 and then play it back with javascript, time-aligned to the video file.  Essentially it would be the same system that we use for subtitles, but instead of text, it would be audio-- it could be switched on or off at any time and it would travel with the embed.  It wouldn't require uploading a second copy of the video with the audio track.

The vision is this-- someone can record audio right from their browser, tweak timing if necessary and they are done.

What do you think?


On Jun 21, 2011, at 1:48 PM, David MacDonald wrote:

Hi Nicholas

Nice to hear from you... I'm a former audio recording musician, so I have quite a bit of experience in commercial multi track audio recording environments...

yes I think we need an easy cheap way to put audio descriptions into a video, that would be great... just load up the video into the recorder, plug a mike into the computer, the recorder will auto detect the input source, and user hits the record button and talks, and stops, and pauses...I think for these simple talking heads, the idea of just reading in real time against the video, and exporting with the existing audio is probably the easiest ... then there are no DFXP type timing codes or SMIL and all that...

The recorder just lets you try to speak in the cracks,  just like a real time multi track audio recorder like Cubase or Audacity does,

The user can just delete and rerecord as necessary until its right, or they can nudge around their AD track in the recorder, then export the AD  version of the movie once it's right ... it could be posted on the server as an alternative video to the original, and then the player could have an AD button on it... and when the AD button is pressed, the video is swapped out for the version with AD....

David MacDonald

From: Nicholas Reville [mailto:reville@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Nicholas Reville
Sent: June-19-11 3:19 PM
To: Gregg Vanderheiden
Cc: David MacDonald; WCAG; aleli alcala; Dean Jansen
Subject: Re: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

Hi David,

As Gregg mentioned, Universal Subtitles, which has a very flexible system for aligned text, will be adding support for time-aligned audio sometime in the near future.

I'd love to chat sometime so that I could better understand what your needs and requirements are for this kind of stuff, I think there's a lot of options, at least on the tech side, that could make things simpler for you.


On Jun 18, 2011, at 1:02 PM, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

Hi David,

            if there is a talking head - then there usually isn't any space for description anyway.

            Also - the point is to allow a person who is blind to access key visual information.

            On key part IS the front end of the video where they usually have an identification of the speaker.  OR during the video - where they overlay the screen with text identifying the speaker.

            It would be good to get audio into those places if there is a pause in the regular audio.

            I think this is a  GREAT place for an online tool (or free downloadable tool) that would allow people to add a few short descriptions to a video for these types of situations.   It would not have to be done by "talent" if non - commercial.

            we also should work more on "closed description" mechanism which should be easy in IP to allow video description to be available on request.

            This is what GPII is all about  (http://raisingthefloor.org  and http://GPII.net<http://raisingthefloor.org%20%20and%20http:/GPII.net>)

            I also added Nicholas Reville < npr@pculture.org<mailto:npr@pculture.org>> to this posting.  Nicholas and "Universal Subtitles"   (http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/) is spearheading this aspect of GPII)

Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International
and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project
http://Raisingthefloor.org<http://Raisingthefloor.org/>   ---   http://GPII.net<http://GPII.net/>

On Jun 18, 2011, at 10:01 AM, David MacDonald wrote:

I've been coming across a lot of this lately, and don't really know what to do about it... we have a requirement for audio descriptions... but 95% of all video on Government and corporate sites are just talking heads, like a message from the CEO, or from the marketing manager, or from the Minister, where he's just talking in front of a non-consequential background.

Honestly, it seems extraneous to require these videos to be audio described which can cost thousands of dollars, and provides almost zero value for a person who is blind...

We could I guess get a voice overdub at the front that says... "the minister speaking in his office, with a flag in the background" ... but I almost wish we had some kind of an exception for these videos of talking heads... it would cost a thousand bucks for that line, (unless there is some kind of internal production facility).


David MacDonald

From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Loretta Guarino Reid
Sent: June-15-11 2:43 PM
Subject: 16 June 2011 Agenda ==============================

Meeting Information
Time: 20:00 UTC, 6 AM Eastern Australia, 10 PM Central Europe, 4 PM Eastern US
World Clock: <http://tinyurl.com/dxyzel>
Length: up to 90 minutes
Bridge: +1.617.761.6200<tel:%2B1.617.761.6200> (US), +<tel:%2B33.> (France), +44.203.318.0479<tel:%2B44.203.318.0479> (UK)
Passcode: 9224#
IRC: irc.w3.org<http://irc.w3.org/> port: 6665 channel #wai-wcag

 1. Status of publication
 2. Miscellaneous Issues and Techniques for 16 June 2011
   Survey: <http://tinyurl.com/3lrxgvs>
 3. Other discussion topics, depending upon who is present?
    * Are Word documents web content?
    * Vivienne's question about hierarchical headings?


No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com<http://www.avg.com>
Version: 10.0.1382 / Virus Database: 1513/3718 - Release Date: 06/21/11
Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 02:06:19 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:34:07 UTC